Tall Ships: Catching the Lines

Posted at: 07/25/2013 9:24 PM
Updated at: 07/25/2013 10:17 PM
By: Maarja Anderson

With the arrival of the nine Tall Ships, crews were busy working on the ships all day, but there's also work to be done on shore. That's where line handlers get the work done.

"In front of us is the Denis Sullivan out of Milwaukee, it's the closest boat to home that will be here and then behind us we have Hindu out of Key West," said line handler Nick Pascuzzi.

Before visitors can walk the gangplank, two men, Pascuzzi and his friend Jeff Crosby, are in charge of making sure all nine Tall Ships are docked without a hitch.

"All day everyday," said Pascuzzi. "Whenever boats need to go."

They are line handlers and they catch and cast the ropes that keep the ships in place. The four ropes do the work, but they say communication is key.

"It's kind of just important to have that open communication so you know what to catch when and where to bring it," said Crosby.

During Tall Ships, handling the lines is particularly important.

"Especially with the wooden boats you have to be a little more gentle, it's not a steel hull, it's not as forgiving if you come smashing into the dock." said Crosby. "There will be immediate consequences."

But Pascuzzi says anybody can do it.

"Line handling is important, but it's also very easy...sometimes," he said. But come Friday, when the passenger sails begin, they will be doing a lot more handling.